Seneca College, Toronto, Main Page

MGS 523 

Introduction to Electronic Commerce 

Seneca College, Toronto, Canada


last updated 2002 Feb 13



Handed out details of the Major Project.

What is involved in doing the Project? 
The project will include these elements: 

  • An Executive Summary of the project. 
  • A Weekly report detailing the activities of each group member 
  • Budget 

  • A comprehensive report that will include recommendations, a start-up budget and a  monthly budget of recurring costs. 
  • A well designed web site complete with a store front and where practical information/technical data using PDF files. 


an example done by a student last term an example done by a student last term a page showing several weekly reports
Today in class you will use the Internet to find information on
The 5 Environments within which the company operates, and which effect the e-business solution. 
  • Competitive Environment
    • Review competitive web sites and store fronts.
    • Look for web sites similar to the one which matches the company of your project
    • Make a list of the features on the site and the things you think are useful, and the things you would avoid
  • Economic Environment
    • the economic environment applies to how well the business is doing in the particular economy. For example some businesses are doing very well in the economy of 2000, some are highly stressed. Economic factors include employment, cost of living, wages
    • Use search engines to find "economic" information about the business sector within your company is operating
    • find "economic" information which effects the customers of the web site
  • Technological Environment
    • If your target company already has some kind of web site - Evaluate the content material. Is it adequate? Are graphics or pictures of the product/service important. Are they available in digital format or must they be scanned?
    • If your target company does not have any web site presently - Evaluate what would be the best content material (text , images). Explain what graphics or pictures of the product/service important. Are they available in digital format or must they be scanned?
  • Legal / Political Environment
    • Are there any regulations or legislation that applies to the content on the web site. Are there any litigation considerations (could they be sued for anything you may create for them - you do not have to know this in detail, just general awareness is acceptable)
    • for information on some legal issues, please feel free to use the links and content at

  • Sociocultural Environment
  • language considerations
  • slang, jargon, 
  • cultural sensitivities
  • use of colours, shapes, special images
  • Group
    Further discussion of group members and companies for the Major Project
    - check your name on the list
    - check the name of your company

    Somebody asked about web cams so I have provided some links to those which I mentioned in another course

    the following cams are noted here as examples of the variety of lifestyle and topics shown in cam culture and does not necessarily mean the professor of the class endorses any particular cam.
    a web site featuring selections of various themed cams around the world

    One of the practical uses for web cams is to allow viewers to see traffic patterns

    One traffic cam gives a good view of the Yonge and Steeles interesection.
    This particular cam shows "streaming video" which means the image constanting refeshes without you having to relaod the page on your browser.
    the zordoc cam refreshes very fast , allowing you to see almost every vehicle or person passing in front - which has implications for public privacy

    There are also cameras for providing views of downtown Toronto

    frivolous uses of internet resources to show silly cams, like the beer fridge cam

    One of the most popular uses of web cams is to show street scenes in major tourist attractions of the world
    the cam for Times Square is also fairly good quality and individual people's faces can be determined, which may or may not cause some people to feel unfortable. The question we can ask ourselves is "should areas of the city, in which there are live web cams, be posted, so people have the option of avoiding that if they do not want to be on the web"
    Cam #3 is very "close-up" and you can distinguish people's faces quite clearly

    cams across Canada
    This cam is located in Montreal at the corner of at the corner of Peel and   Sainte-Catherine, the busiest intersection in Greater Montréal. 



    As explained previously, each class is intended to contribute infromation towards you producing a very good term project, Today, in class we will be learning more about Domain names - which applies to the section of your project
    "Determine the availability of a domain name with the .com (or .ca) extension. Provide the company with several optional names, including the costs of registration."

    What you will do in class today is read through the following links and descriptions so you will understand the aspects involved in domain names: then you will search for names relevant to the company you are doing your project on. Check for additional names and phrases which would be appropriate.

    ie. if is taken, check for

    ie was available Oct 11th, 2001 !!!

    . this screen capture leads to several pages discussing the ways you can register a domain name and the details of how to do that 
    . this screen capture leads to several pages discussing the business aspects of domain names 
    - also some of the legal issues


    the main required text INTRANETS

    The Kalakota book "Electronic Commerce: A Manager's Guide" is perhaps the oldest e-commerce book used in North America. The book is dated 1997 and has been superseded by some newer
     books which have the advantage of being more contemporary. Nevertheless, it remains a useful book, and has a particularly good section on Intranets - in fact 4 chapters of the Kalakota book are devoted to Intranets
    Chpt 10 - Intranets and Supply Chain Management
    Chpt 11 - Intranets and Customer Asset Management
    Chpt 12 - Intranets and Manufacturing
    Chpt 13 - Intranets and Corporate Finance

    You do not have to buy this book for MGS 523 - but, if you are really interested in intranets, this book is available in the Seneca Campus bookstore

    Chapter 10

    the main required text


    Chapter 10

    the main required text


    In 2000, the biggest hype in E-commerce is B2B opportunities. One of the features that facilitate B2B is company intranets and extranets which are accessed by other affiliated companies, or companies that are in a strategic alliance

    Intranets are private computer networks built with standard Internet technologies. Access to these networks is restricted to an authorized group of users, usually within a company or a department of a company. Access privileges to select parts of the intranet can be extended to external vendors and suppliers to form what is known as an extranet.

    Intranets and Supply-Chain Management

    Keeping with the theme that one of the biggest applications of e-business for a company, is in the category of saving costs - one of the biggest areas in which to save costs is cutting expenses from the materials gathering and components purchasing area: essentially your supply chain.

    . Supply Chain Management and the effective management thereof has been practiced before the internet - with the internet, we have the technological ability to enhance the information exchanges that are part of the supply chain.

    Industry activities to deal with enhanceing effectiveness of Supply Chain Management

    • JIT Just in Time
    • quick response
    • vendor managed inventory
    • continuous replenishment
    • p 285 Kalakota

    "What has changed is the need to quickly share and disseminate information across the supply chain"
    - this follows a shift from product orientation, to sales orientation to market orientation.

    Pull versus Push Supply Chain models 
    p. 288 Kalakota
    - explained by WTGR on the blackboard with a diagram

    - Pull based models require a lot of information about the customer
    - the trend has been away from Push based systems to Pull based systems
    Managing Retails Supply Chains 
    "ideally electronic commerce should provide retailers with an integrated system for planning and controlling all business processes in the supply chain stretching from suppliers to consumers" p. 304 - Kalakota

    Chapter 10

    the main required text


    Elements of Supply-Chain Management p. 290 Kalakota
    • Planning Systems
      • means having the right product at the right place at the right time
      • requires being able to obtain good "order information" from the customer
      • POS - Point of Sale data gathered at the retail terminal is part of this
      • Demand Forecasting (cause you can't have some products ready instantly)
        • allows you to be more competitive in supplying things 'faster'
        • customer demand triggers order movement up the supply chain to the raw material supplier
      • the trend has been away from Push based systems to Pull based systems
    • Execution Systems
      • facilitate the physical movement of goods and services through the supply chain
      • focus on operational efficiency
        • entails finding new ways to streamline day2day operations
        • reduce costs
        • improve productivity
      • need for cross functional integration
      • execution systems are basically the way you do things to make sure everything done the right way !
    • Performance Measurement Systems
      • keeps track of how things are going well, or poorly
      • necessary to evaluate good and bad results in a specific way so you can make changes
      • most often this means talking about some specific accounting or financial software package that gives performance numbers
    • Integrating Functions in a Supply Chain
      • the key thing about integrating is getting all the key functions to work together
      • the key functions are
        • Managing Information about demand
        • Managing the flow of physical goods
        • Managing the manufacturing process
        • Managing the money
    Chain Management
    Supply-Chain Management as explained in the FAQ of the 
    Center for Electronic Commerce

    Q. What is supply chain management?
    "A supply chain is a collection of inter-dependent steps that, when followed, accomplish a certain objective such as meeting customer requirements. Supply-chain management is a generic term that encompasses the coordination of order generation, order taking, and offer fulfillment/distribution of products, services, or information. Numerous, independent firms and customers are involved in a supply chain (e.g., manufacturers and parts suppliers; parcel shippers, senders and receivers; wholesalers and retailers). The WWW and extranets (connected intranets) have  shown a great potential in linking and managing these entities into a virtual organization."




    . While it is not expected that you could learn enough about the technical aspects of an intranet to incorporate them into your MGS 523 project, you should be trying to understand the business aspects and find some way to incorporate the advantages of an intranet into the company you are doing for your project.

    If the company you picked is too small, then you should describe how an intranet can assist them if they grow.

    go here to download the ppt for Chpt 7

    Featured in Chpt 7
    is reference to ANX - the Automotive Network Exchange, which is the world's largest extranet

    Applications of Intranet page 244
    the major functions that an Intranet can provide

    • corporate / departmental / individual web pages
    • database access
      • for better information about customers
      • inventory
      • assets and resources
    • search engines and directories
      • for companies handling massive quantities of text documents
      • eg. insurance and banking companies
    • interactive communication
      • chatting, audio, videoconferencing
      • in order to save costs
    • document distribution and workflow
      • very helpful in organizations were more than one person handles a file
      • eg. government agencies, eg. licensing agencies, health offices etc.
    • groupware
    • telephony
    • integration with electronic commerce
      • internet based sales have to be processed
      • processing can be economized with intranet structure for order fulfillment
      • eg.
    • extranet
      • geographically dispersed parts of the organization
    Information that is most often included in Intranets
    (this list comes from some notes in the text on page 244 - additional points added in by WTGR)
    • corporate policies
    • corporate procedures for caring out complex actions with many variables
    • timetables for people and events
    • scheduling information
    • directories
      • people
      • names, tel contacts
      • titles and functions
    • departments
      • part of reducing duplication of activity
      • enhanced use of existing resources
      • departmental "evangelism" (common in large organizations)
    • Human Resources
      • benefits and services to employees
      • performance evaluations guidelines
      • employment equity information and guidelines
      • stock information
      • intra-corporate employment opportunities
      • educational information
        • corporate training programs
        • schedules
        • descriptions, curriculum, participation forms
    • product catalogs
    • purchase orders
    • manuals
    • to enhance capability of service technicians 
    • to empower wholsalers and retailers
    • services
      • travel services
      • in-house services , eg. printing
    • archives
      • text, stories, documents, records
      • images (eg. for a newspaper)
      • video clips (eg. for a broadcaster)
    from Turban's book, Chpt 7, Intranet and Extranet, page 242
    What is an Intranet What is an Extranet
    "An Intranet is a corporate LAN that uses Internet technology and is secured behind a company's firewall. Links various servers, clients, databases and applications"

    Access to Intranets is usually strictly controlled within a corporate group

    Intranets are most often found in
    (ranked in order of most common use)

    • banks
    • IT companies
    • manufacturing companies
    • large retail companies
    • service companies (ie, travel, hotel)
    "An Extranet (extended Intranet) uses TCP/IP protocol to link Intranets over the public Internet. Many Extranets have protected areas "Virtually Private Networks" (VPN)

    Access to Extranets is quite open and allows for independent groups to collaborate - usually parts suppliers to a big manufacturer

    Extranets are most often found in
    (ranked in order of most common use)

    • IT services
    • Computer companies (hardware)
    • financial services
    • travel
    • manufacturing
    • professional services
    • real estate



    One thing the medium and larger sized companies are trying to do in their Customer Relationship Management is maintain loyalty (leading to future repeat purchases) by fostering communities of customers.Click on the truck to go to a good example of how Ford fosters an on-line community through an extensive web site.

    Chapter 7
    "Expanding relationships through Worldwide Internet Communities"

    "One of the most successful business models to emerge and capitalize upon the Internet's capabilities is the creation and maintenance of Internet Communities."

    Key Elements of any Virtual (Online) Community

    • Community Members
      • try to create among the members a sense of ownership - that they have control over what the community does
    • Community Organizer
      • Sometimes this is technically focused - a person from an ISP, sometimes this is corporate based - a PR person from a company that produces the product in question eg.
    • Guiding Principles
      • rules and regulations by which people interact
    • Interactivity
      • the ability to connect and speak with others through postings, chat, thumbnail galleries, etc.
      • keep barriers to entry low
      • inspire participants to be involved for a long time, thereby building "product evangelists"

    Types of Communities
    • Geographically Based
    • Age-based
    • Support-based
    • Activity-based
      • sports teams
      • outdoor activities
      • games played
      • books read
      • personal opinions of movies
      • etc.

    Including Activities in your Business Strategy

    Rockwell has a section in Chpt 8 about communities in the busiess strategy. He makes the point that "rich content and a well-researched, targeted context make a site compelling, but it is the community element that makes a site a part of a person's life worth visiting repeatedly"

    . This is not a new thing for online business - companies have been "community" focused long before the internet ; whatthe internet does however is greatly enhance the communication among members of the community and communication is often one of the key reasons members get together



    Webrings This is an example of a Web Ring.

    This particular example comes from the Christmas Cooking & Crafts WebRing

    All the sites in the Ring are interconnected so that "enthusiasts" can find out information on the same topic easily without having to use a search engine for each site. as you can see from the screen capture to the left, all webrings have a navigation section at the bottom so people can easily see other sites in the ring, or a list of all the sites - this is a fundamental principle of webrings.

    . Part of building your Online Community can include having your page, or part of your page linked within a Webring which is themed to things you do. If you cannot find one which matches - you can make one - there is no cost to starting your own webring; all you have to do is get people to join!


    Basics of CRM

    "Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is developing into a major element of corporate strategy for many organisations. CRM, also known by other terms such as relationship marketing and customer management, is concerned with the creation, development and enhancement of individualised customer relationships with carefully targeted customers and customer groups resulting in maximizing their total customer life-time value....Narrow functionally-based traditional marketing is being replaced by a new form of cross functional marketing - CRM.... the focus is shifting from customer acquisition to customer retention"

    Why is time and money spent on CRM worthwhile, Payne notes "Research shows that a 5% points increase in customer retention yields a profit, in net present value terms, of between 20% and 125%"
    Professor Adrian Payne, 
    Director Centre for Relationship Marketing, Cranfield University

    CRM for Dummies
    by Sambasivan TN for Origin Information Technology

    "...why the sudden talk about CRM?... With a general slowdown of the global economy companies are finding it hard to get going....Gone are the days where you had a technological edge over your archrival. With new and affordable technologies your competitor is just a matter of days behind you in terms of product launch. So what are you left with as a key-differentiating factor? ...customers need to be looked at more seriously than ever before ... information is the key to success. Information about the customer made available to the person coming in contact with the customer can go a long way not only in clinching the deal but also creating a very good relationship with the customer for future business...
    Organizations over the past had products as their key focus. The way an entire organization works would be built around this focus area. Since this cannot be used as a key-differentiating factor anymore, companies have begun to focus on the customers. This not only brings about a change in focus, but also changes the way the entire organization works"

    . does this mean you torture yourself to satisfy every single customer as best you can? Answer, no. You use various software tools and information tracking methods to determine which customers spend the most money on particular products, and you then focus on them

    Sambasivan adds
    "not all customers are equally profitable. The key herein lies in identifying the customers who pay you more for the kind of services that you offer and focusing your valuable efforts into taking special care of those customers. This not only helps by improving your bottom line, but also helps you to focus your efforts where it is required the most."

    .  in the past companies relied on sales people with good personal contacts and networking skills to build up good will with customers and create CLV - Customer Lifetime Value - problem was, whent these people left the organization, all these contacts went with them (in fact many good salespeople are often headhunted to obtain new accounts). These situation became one of the weakness of organizational information structure - that being the point that people possessed information, not institutions. CRM is an attempt to build "institutional knowledge" regardless of the individual salespeople's personal contacts and information.

    Sambasivan concludes
    "The need for accurate and timely information to the sales team is really important. The advantages being that the knowledge gathered by a particular person who has been interacting with the customer, now lies with the organization and not with the person alone."

    other various white papers and reports on CRM
    Siebel Systems was founded by
    Thomas M. Siebel bio

    From their own website,
    "Siebel Systems is the world’s leading provider of eBusiness application software with more than 4,500 employees who  operate in more than 28 countries and 97 offices around the world"

    Their products

    BTW, WTGR adds that Siebel's stock has been doing quite well lately

    You can't talk about CRM without mentioning Siebel Systems Inc.

    Siebel Systems Inc. is  the largest
    maker of customer-relationship management software.

    While Siebel Systems still has a big role to play, other companies are coming along with new concepts that are radically changing the way we think about buying and using software to help with business solutions.


    On Salesforce's website, in the course of describing their product, they bullet point the key things that are all part of CRM
    "To ensure top productivity for an entire sales organization, sales managers need:

    • Oversight of the whole team's sales pipeline at a glance 
    • Real-time forecasting and reporting that delivers consolidated information at any  time-without interrupting salespeople to ask for updates 
    • A complete calendar of all team members' daily activities to aid in management and coordination 
    • Sales histories that capture the collective experience of the entire company so that it can  be put to work for each salesperson"

    "Because of the explosion of the Internet, companies are discovering that instead of spending millions of dollars and years installing complex software programmes on their own computers to help automate their operations, they can pay companies to do it for
    them as a service. Customers then use the software with nothing more than a secure Web browser and a password."
    Duncan Martell

    Martell has written a story about Marc Benioff, a 13-year veteran of Oracle Corp. and
    now chairman of start-up specializes in software for companies that have large CRM activities


    Chpt 6

    Chpt 6


    go here to download the ppt for Chpt 6

    Characteristics of B2B EC

    • Supply Chain 
    • Electronic Marketing
    • Procurement Management
    • Electronic Intermediaries
    • JIT Delivery
    • EDI Electronic Data Interchange
    • Intranets
    • Extranets
    • Back-end Information Systems
    Models of B2B
    • Supplier Oriented Marketplace
    • Buyer Oriented Marketplace
    • Intermediary Oriented Marketplace

    Supplier Oriented Marketplace 211- 213  in text
    Cisco Connection Online
  • Customer Service
  • Software downloads
  • defect tracking
  • technical advice
  • Online Ordering
  • Cisco builds most of its products for custom orders
  • Custom orders can be facilitated more precisely through online menus
  • Finding Order Status
  • empowers the customer to know when order is arriving and specific details

  • Buyer Oriented Marketplace
    page 213

    text cites General Electric's
    GE Trading Process Network (TPN)
    GE TPN Post is an Internet-based trading network that enables buyers and sellers to do business-to-business electronic commerce, including transactions. 

    In this process, sellers offer products for sale, and accept bids against the product.

    Intermediary Oriented Marketplace
    page 214
 In the text, Boeing's PART case (mentioned page 206) demonstrates the intermediary oriented B2B marketplace. Boeing plays the role of intermediary in supplying maintenance parts to airlines (most of which own Boeing planes)
    Currently the Boeing PART Page and are administered separately.
     Access to the PART Page requires a separate account and login password.

    Page 215
    "Boeing views the Internet as an opportunity to encourage more of its customers to order parts electronically"

    Just-in-Time Delivery 
    page 216 in text
    order tracking is a big part of Fedex's customer satisfaction element